Viking Night: Reefer Madness

By Bruce Hall

January 15, 2013

Weed is about to lead to orgy. Note: this is not (technically) an endorsement of weed.

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Put your ear to the ground. Do you hear that? There’s an unspeakable menace coming, barreling toward your happy home like a slavering horde of barbarian savages!

But those savages don’t want you. No, they want your children - they want nothing less than to feast on the sweet, tender flesh of your progeny while you helplessly watch. And trust me, this threat cannot be bargained with. It cannot be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse. And if you don’t take the drastic and immediate steps I tell you to, your entire way of life will be destroyed! What is this fiendish, soul-crushing instrument of total annihilation?

Marijuana! Arm yourselves! Hide your daughters! Sex-crazed pot fiends and their depraved, sinful, jazz music are coming!

Trust me, that's only half as melodramatic as the opening crawl for Reefer Madness (originally and way less awesomely called “Tell Your Children”), one of the best fear-mongering right wing indoctrination pieces you’ll ever live to see. It’s the work of a long forgotten church group, one determined to keep dope out of the hands of children. That’s not a bad thing, of course. The problem is that like most propaganda, it was made by people with little concern for realism.


In other words, Reefer Madness is an anti drug film - made by people who’ve clearly never ingested anything stronger than Christmas rum cake. And it is absolutely glorious.

The story is presented by the world’s greatest high school principal, Dr. Alfred Carroll (Josef Forte). He looks like Woodrow Wilson but sounds like Joseph McCarthy as he stands before a PTA meeting, bursting with fire and brimstone as the crowd gasps and whispers on cue. He spins a chilling yarn, wherein the innocent bloom of youth is snuffed out by the cravings of a few heedless, drug fueled maniacs.

It all starts with Bill and Jimmy (Kenneth Craig, Warren McCollum), two incredibly clean cut-looking teenagers who look like they’re on their way to share a milkshake. Jimmy says he's been invited by to an underground party by Blanche (Lillian Miles), a seductive classmate with a checkered past. Bill is reluctant to go, but Jimmy talks him into it. They arrive at a seedy apartment where Mae (Thelma White) and Jack (Carleton Young) live adulterously together, throwing wild sex parties and selling pot to teenagers. But unlike most drug dealers, they’re apparently not in it for the money.

They just think it’s just fun to sell drugs to kids.

Jack is the only drug dealer on earth without a car, so he talks Jimmy into giving him a ride to pick up more weed when Mae runs out. While driving, Jimmy smokes a joint and immediately goes insane. Grinning like a jackal, he gleefully runs down a pedestrian on the way to meet Jack’s dealer. Later, Jack promises not to talk to the cops, provided Jimmy keeps his mouth shut about Mae’s Underage Sex and Drug Emporium.

Poor Bill is still back there, wilting like a wallflower because he's not used to hanging out with drug fiends at their fiendish drug parties. Everywhere, people are smoking and laughing hysterically, crawling all over each other like dogs in heat. Blanche offers a joint to loosen him up, and it immediately turns him from a God fearing, church going paragon of virtue into...well...a dog in heat. He proceeds to get busy with Blanche - which is unfortunate because he’s already dating Mary - Jimmy’s sweet, innocent sister.

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